Next Week in Africa: the week of August 12-18

Next Week in Africa

Several important developments will occur during the week of August 12-18 that have the potential to shape geomarket outcomes in Africa.

August 12: Mali will hold a second-round presidential election. While the incumbent President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta (“IBK”) is the favorite to win the run-off vote, the imminent conclusion of Mali’s electoral season does not translate to an improved geopolitical outlook for the Sahelian country.

August 12: Zimbabwe’s Emmerson Mnangagwa will be inaugurated president. His challenge come August 13 will be to restore political and economic confidence at home so that he can restore confidence abroad.

Editor’s note: Zimbabwe’s Constitutional Court has since ruled a delay to Mnangagwa’s inauguration until a legal challenged filed late August 10 by Nelson Chamisa’s Movement for Democratic Change will be resolved. The Court has ten days to deliberate and determine on Chamisa’s case.

August 12: Nigerian President Mahamadu Buhari will return home from a 10-day holiday in the United Kingdom. Buhari will immediately face the challenge of reasserting influence over an increasingly fractious ruling party, however the Nigerian president benefits from his principal opposition being equally divided.

August 13: South African President Cyril Ramaphosa will be vehemently confronted by ruling alliance partners and opposition parties over emerging reports the government will lay off 30,000 public sector workers. The potential retrenchments will further destabilize Ramaphosa’s tenuous command over South Africa’s political stability.

August 13: Emmanuel Ramazani of the Democratic Republic of the Congo will begin liaising with senior members of the Common Front for Congo (FCC) political alliance and the ruling People’s Party for Reconstruction and Development (PPRD). Ramazani’s nomination to succeed President Joseph Kabila complies with legal requirements, will result in Kabila lauded an exemplar of presidential leadership, and will convey stability and continuity following the country’s December 23 elections.

August 13: Côte d’Ivoire’s Henri Konan Bédié of the Democratic Party of Côte d’Ivoire (PDCI) will liaise to release the names of PDCI nominees for regional and municipal elections scheduled for October 13. Bédié’s abandonment of the RHDP ruling alliance measurably deepens the country’s geopolitical risk outlook.

August 13: Mozambique’s FRELIMO-led government and opposition RENAMO party will liaise aiming to conclude Beira Accord terms on the demobilization, disarmament and reintegration of opposition fighters into the country’s armed forces.

August 13: Alongside consultations over FRELIMO and RENAMO military integration the Mozambique government will internally liaise on terms leading to a restructuring of the country’s Eurobond and similar debts.

August 13: Gabon’s Dynamique unitaire civil service union will protest march against the government’s austerity measures. The tensions in Gabon imperil the social contract that has engendered more than fifty years of Gabonese political stability.

August 15: Mauritania will convene legislative and municipal elections. The formation of an elections-oriented political opposition alliance does not immediately imperil the Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz regime, fears of Aziz’ clan consolidating power through upcoming foreign oil and gas investments raises the outlook for violence as the means to effect a redistribution Mauritania’s clan-based balance of power.

August 15: Niger President Mahamadou Issoufou will conduct an official visit to Germany. Issoufou’s visit is the latest in a series of recent and upcoming engagements by the Merkel administration with African governments.

August 17-18: Namibia will host a summit of Southern African Development Community (SADC) heads of state and government. The gathering in Windhoek is for the region’s leaders to liaise on free trade negotiations, customs union updates, regional security concerns, and lastly, on political evolutions that will see congratulations extended to Zimbabwe’s Mnangagwa and Congo’s Kabila.

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